This is important because you cannot separate the parent from the children. Often, the attention, time and resources that a parent devotes to his/her children can make one feel jealous or resentful. Single parents are likely to set basic boundaries with regards to their children. Sometimes when we meet the kids we want to make a good impression.
If you are dating a parent, their children will be part of the picture at some point. Are you self-assured and independent enough to accept that the children of your date will be the priority? These boundaries can range from time devoted to children, to dietary/nutrition concerns, to when late night guests are acceptable. If you are dating a single parent and your relationship has progressed to the point where you spend time together with the kids, notice how your date parents, the kids’ behaviors, and the family culture. Maybe we try too hard: excessively friendly, overly generous, or uncomfortably upbeat. It is natural that children may be somewhat leery of a new person in the mix.
It will save everyone a lot of angst if you simply ask your date and openly discuss how you can help make this a positive experience for all concerned. This may sound like a covert operation, but if you find you are uncomfortable with or disapproving of these things, this may not be a situation that is compatible for you. Everyone will feel much more at ease when the new person in mommy or daddy’s life is kind, sincere, and genuinely caring. They may worry that dad or mom doesn’t love them as much as before or that they are lacking in some way. Once you have managed to thread your way through some of these obstacles that are inherent when dating a single parent, relax and enjoy the experience.
Depending on their background, kids may be fearful of a newcomer in their midst. Simply understand these feelings may exist and that it is not about you. Children can add a lot of delight and gratification to a relationship.
So, when she says her ex has him for the night, consider it excellent news. The timeline on real-life offspring will likely be age-dependent: Babies have no idea you exist. Show kindness and a semblance of liking kids—but don’t go overboard or kiss her munchkin’s ass. Even with modern fertility science, all tadpoles come with some sort of father.